The destruction of the Denver Broncos: The team has never replaced Peyton Manning
The one move that Elway made that turned out wildly successful was managing to convince Peyton Manning to join the Broncos after the Indianapolis Colts shockingly cut him following the 2011 season.
This allowed Elway to quickly turn the page on Tim Tebow in favor of one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history.
In four years with the Broncos, Manning helped the team win the AFC West every year while also taking them to two Super Bowls and winning Super Bowl 50. But as soon as the dust settled on that Super Bowl win over the Panthers, Manning was ready to call it a career.
Since then, the Broncos have never replaced Manning and have not even come close. Here’s a rundown of the quarterbacks who have gotten that chance.
Mark Sanchez: People forget about this one, but after Brock Osweiler decided to bolt through free agency for the massive contract that the Houston Texans offered him, the Broncos traded for Sanchez, who was supposed to bring a veteran presence to an already good team. He didn’t even make it through the preseason before the team already decided he wasn’t the answer.
Trevor Siemian: A seventh-round pick who was never supposed to be much more than a camp arm, the Broncos ended up having to turn to Siemian when no one else could step up and take the job. You’ll soon see that he was probably the best name on this list.
Paxton Lynch: Easily the worst pick Elway made, Lynch was a first-round draft bust if there ever was one. He couldn’t even beat out Siemian in the preseason and when he was forced into action, he was just terrible.
Case Keenum: Following a successful 2017 season with the Minnesota Vikings, the Broncos jumped on Keenum in free agency. He wasn’t awful, but he was far from good and clearly not a guy who would ever take the team over the hump.
Joe Flacco: Not satisfied with Keenum’s performance, Elway traded for veteran Joe Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens. Flacco was far worse.
Drew Lock: A second-round pick who, in my opinion, never received the proper support from the coaching staff or the front office, Lock had the talent but definitely needed more work. Patience was necessary for him and the team just didn’t have it.
Teddy Bridgewater: A good backup quarterback, but not a starter. However, Vic Fangio made him the starter in order to preserve his job because he was the “safer” option over Lock. Fangio was fired and the team moved on from Bridgewater after just one year.
Russell Wilson: To say it’s gone bad with Wilson so far would be way too nice. He’s just been incredibly bad, shockingly bad, actually.
If you don’t have a quarterback that can be counted on to consistently carry his team to wins, it’s a difficult league to win in. Wilson was supposed to be that but he’s not better than anyone on this list.